Flames go for fourth straight win versus Golden Knights

The hot Calgary Flames look to continue their torrid starts when they take the ice against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday afternoon at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Flames became the fourth team in NHL history and the first in nearly 30 years to score five or more goals in consecutive first periods in Wednesday’s 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Calgary. The Flames also scored five times against visiting Vegas on Monday in a 7-2 win.

The St. Louis Blues were the last team to accomplish the feat in November 1989.

“We’ve got three (wins) in a row right now and I think everyone in our locker room feels great,” said Flames goaltender David Rittich, who has won five straight.

Calgary (13-8-1) moved back into first place in the Pacific Division. Vegas (10-12-1) is sixth in the division after Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win at Arizona.

Vegas left winger Max Pacioretty gave the Golden Knights the win, scoring his fourth goal in the last three games. Vegas completed its three-game road trip with four points.

“I had just hopped on the ice,’ Pacioretty told the Las Vegas Review-Journal of his goal. “I saw Shea (Theodore) had some speed against some flat-footed defensemen. He put it on net and I just pounced on the rebound.”

Theodore split the defense and put a shot on Arizona goaltender Darcy Kuemper that came off long and Pacioretty backhanded it back through Kuemper’s pads.

Tomas Nosek also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury had 19 saves for Vegas. The Golden Knights outshot the Coyotes 5-0 in overtime.

Pacioretty, who turned 30 on Tuesday, had two goals in the game, the third straight game in which he has scored.

“We’re really happy,” coach Gerard Gallant said of Pacioretty’s recent play. “He’s one of those guys who when he puts the puck in the net, he gets confidence and feels better about himself. He definitely did that tonight.”

Calgary left winger Sam Bennett is also thriving, especially with his recent increased playing time.

Bennett scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist in Calgary’s win over Winnipeg on Wednesday.

Elevated to the second line alongside Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund to start the four-game home stand, the 2014 fourth overall pick remains in that spot. The move helped Calgary win three of the four games played at the Flames’ Scotiabank Saddledome.

“I’ve wanted this opportunity for a while and I said I’d make the most of it. I’m not going to let my foot off the pedal now,” Bennett told reporters after the win over Winnipeg. “The confidence is definitely pretty good right now. I feel confident in my plays and I’m able to make plays and not be scared to make mistakes. It’s a great feeling.”

Added Tkachuk: “(Bennett’s) playing awesome right now. I love how heavy and physical he’s been. He’s creating more space for myself and (Backlund), but he’s creating more space for himself as well. You saw his speed on that breakaway in the third.”